Movie Theater Apologizes For Ousting Diabetic Customer

Man tried to bring in store-bought strawberries

If you live in New York City, you're probably well aware of the hardcore security apparatus movie theaters employ to keep outside snacks at bay. Even sneaking in a bottled water is about as difficult as getting a squirt gun through an airport, for all the questioning looks and enforced bag checks inflicted on customers. But one Brooklyn theater has recently taken the practice to new heights, after calling the police on a diabetic man who tried to bring in a container of strawberries.

Michael Kass, who was on his way to a Divergent showing at Park Slope's Pavilion Theater, made no attempt to hide his open disregard for local snacking policy. The financial analyst, who has Type 2 diabetes, is unable to eat the sugary foods sold at the movie theater, and stood his ground when he was told to toss the fruit.

As the New York Daily News reported, a manager refused to refund Kass's $12 ticket--but Kass walked into the theater anyway with berries in hand. That's when the hammer fell.

"I was there for 10 minutes," he said. "The previews started playing and the manager came with two police officers and they had me escorted out."

It wasn't long before Kass took his grievance to Facebook, where he posted a lengthy message detailing the incident on the Pavilion's user page:

No one is asking you to stock granola or grapes in your concession stand if you don't believe you can do so profitably--but calling the "cops" on a neighborhood father of three for discretely bringing in a closed container of strawberries is beyond ridiculous and, if you don't revise your policy, I feel pretty confident getting our community to move their movie dollars elsewhere will be pretty easy."

Pavilion owner Ben Kafash soon reached out with an apology, but it looks like he'll also be taking some of Kass's comments to heart--by, well, stocking granola and grapes in his concession stand. The owner told the News that in addition to changing the no-outside-foods policy, he hopes to open a juice bar in the theater and offer healthy alternatives along with the expected Goobers and Junior Mints.

"I want to get the community involved," he said, adding that he hoped to include Kass in future meetings on the theater's direction.

But can we expect to see Kass at this utopian snack stand of the future? Maybe. "It an individually owned theater and I'm hoping we can have policies that are better for their patrons," he told the News. "He said he would change the policy and I'll hold him to his word."

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